Rumors have swirled for years around MINI’s next generation hatch. We’ve heard everything from it going all electric to it getting smaller and more driver focused. Thanks to Autocar’s recent interview with MINI VP Bernd Körber, we now have some clear hints at the future.
New Mini hatch to be smaller and more advanced
The big news is that BMW is indeed moving forward with a petrol powered 4th generation MINI. The other bit of good news is that it will be both slightly more compact while losing none of the interior volume of the current car. Even better MINI is going on record in saying the interior experience will be totally different than anything we’ve ever see from the brand.
The G56 (likely code-name) will reach UK showrooms towards the end of 2022, nine years after the F56 was introduced. Under the hood will be a variety of powertrains including a new 48v mild-hybrid petrol engine with a particulate filter and functions such as automatic engine shutdown, coasting and brake energy recuperation. It will form the basis of the One, Cooper and Cooper S drivetrains. .
Offered alongside will be a second generation all electric MINI with a greater range and improved 150kW fast charting capability.
What of the highest performance MINIs? According to Korber there will be a full offering of JCW products including a 4th generation GP.
Shorter Front Overhang, Longer Wheelbase
The new hatch will be more evolutionary than revolutionary on the outside but will include several key changes. First and foremost the wheelbase will grow and the front overhang will shrink to the delight of MINI fans worldwide. There will be an evolution of MINI’s traditional design elements including the hexagonal grille, round headlights and ‘floating’ roof.
But it’s the shortened overhang that will be the biggest change giving the car a more traditional MINI-like appearance.
The interior will move away from the retro look of all recent models and instead will offer a much more modern approach.
According to Oliver Heilmer, head of Mini design, “A central issue here is interaction and this is something we have to shape. One approach for Mini would be to push the technology required into the background. There is a big opportunity but also a major challenge.”
Interestingly MINI has confirmed there will be a 4th generation convertible and five door, mirroring the current line-up.
Look for the next generation MINI Cooper to debut sometime in the second half of 2022 with an on sale date of Q4 2022 for Europe and Q1 2023 in North America.